August 27, 2005

News for August 27, 2005

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Nanotech Researchers Report Big Breakthrough -- May See Product Used In Race Cars As Early As Next Year Dan Vergano/Teresa Neumann Breaking Christian News (Aug 27, 2005) - A report in USA Today claims that an advance in nanotechnology may lead to the creation of artificial muscles, super strong electric cars and wallpaper-thin electronics. Nanotechnology is the science of engineering properties at the molecular, or nanometer, scale. Until recently, however, nanotechnology has mostly been locked in laboratories. Now, scientists from the University of Texas and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization report the creation of industry-ready sheets of materials made from nanotubes, which are tiny carbon tubes with remarkable strength. “This is fundamentally a new material,” says team leader Ray Baughman of the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson. Some of the amazing properties of this new material are:

  • Self-supporting, transparent and stronger-than-steel or high-strength plastics. The sheets are flexible and can be heated to emit light.
  • A square mile of the thinnest sheets, about 2-millionths-of-an-inch thick, would weigh only about 170 pounds.
  • In lab tests, the sheets demonstrated solar cell capabilities, using sunlight to produce electricity.

Andrew Barron of Rice, a chemist at Rice University in Houston, says “We could see this on Formula 1 (racing) cars by next season. This is a jumping-off point for a technology that a lot of people will pursue.” more...


Earth’s Core Rotates Faster than Surface, Study Confirms (August 25, 2005) - The giant orb of iron and nickel that anchors Earth’s center is spinning faster than the planet’s surface, according to a new study that confirms scientists’ expectations. The finding is based on analyses of earthquake pairs that occur at roughly the same spot on Earth but at different times. On seismic recoding instruments, the earthquake signatures from waveform doublets, as they are called, look nearly identical. When earthquakes strike, their seismic waves can travel through the planet and surface all over the globe. The researchers analyzed 18 sets of waveform doublets -- some separated in time by up to 35 years -- from earthquakes occurring off the coast of South America but which were recorded at seismic stations near Alaska. Earth's core is made of a solid inner part and a fluid outer part, all of it mostly iron. The solid inner core has an uneven consistency, with some parts denser than others, and this can either speed up or slow down shock waves from earthquakes as they pass through. So the researchers speculated that if the Earth’s inner core is rotating faster than the rest of the planet, then shock waves from waveform doublets would enter and exit through different parts of the core despite originating from roughly the same spot on the planet’s surface. more...


War games or word games? (August 25, 2005) - (Mark 13:7 - And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.) The truth is out. The joint war games on northern Chinese beaches, part of a military exercise between China and Russia, are not designed to send warning messages to the United States about the limits of its global unilateralism. It's really all about China and Russia practicing for a joint occupation of North Korea, or so the Russian media will have us believe. More mundanely, the unprecedented display of Russian and Chinese combined military might also sends a signal to Central Asian countries that both Moscow and Beijing will no longer ignore American inroads into the strategically important region. However, Moscow has dismissed speculation of moves toward a new military bloc or joint armed groupings involving Russia and China. more...


Magnitude 5.4 - MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES (August 27, 2005) - A moderate earthquake occurred at 10:58:02 (UTC) on Saturday, August 27, 2005. The magnitude 5.4 event has been located in MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 172 km (107 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.) more...


Moderate earthquake rattles Pakistan’s northwest (August 27, 2005) - A moderate earthquake rocked Pakistan’s northwestern regions Saturday but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, officials said. The quake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale was felt at 10:05 a.m. (0505 GMT) in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier province, and in the mountainous Chitral valley, seismological department official Nasir Mahmud told AFP. The epicenter was some 300 kilometers (188 miles) north of Peshawar in Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountains, Mahmud said.


Earthquake near Porirua (August 27, 2005) - An earthquake has shaken the Wellington and Kapiti areas. Measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale, the earthquake happened just before 5.30pm Saturday (NZ Time). It was centred 30 kilometres west of Porirua, at a depth of 50 kilometres.


Britain Heads for Clash with US (August 27, 2005) - The head-to-head in New York on Monday comes after the revelation that the US administration is proposing wholesale changes to crucial parts of the biggest overhaul of the UN since it was founded more than 50 years ago. A draft of that plan had included a review of progress on the UN’s millennium development goals - poverty eradication targets set in 2000 for completion by 2015 - and the introduction of reforms aimed at repairing the damage done to the UN’s reputation by Iraq, Rwanda and the Balkans. But it was revealed this week that Mr Bush’s new ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, was seeking 750 changes to the 36-page draft plan to be presented to a special summit in New York on September 14 to 16. Mr Bolton's amendments, if successful, would leave the plan in tatters. The Foreign Office confirmed yesterday that Britain was standing behind the original plan, putting it at odds with Mr Bush. The concern in British and other international circles is that the American objections, if adopted, would severely undermine the UN summit, the biggest-ever gathering of world leaders. At least 175 world leaders have accepted an invitation to attend. The UN said yesterday that Mr Bush had confirmed that he would be there. more...


Hamas videotape shows shadowed Mohammed Deif speaking after 10 years in hiding. His words represent hardened line against Israel and Abu Mazen (August 27, 2005) - A videotape released early Saturday, Aug. 27 purports to show the once mythic Hamas commander and bomb-maker Mohammed Deif sitting in a chair, his face in shadow, declaring that just as the Palestinians humiliated and drove the Jews out of Gaza, they will expel them from all parts of Palestine. “We will recreate everywhere the hell we made for you in Gaza,” he said. Badly injured in an IDF 2003 targeted assassination, Deif has never been seen in public since. He read out his message with difficulty passage by passage. “Our weapons should be out in the open,” was his answer to the US-Israeli demand of the Palestinian Authority to disarm the terrorist organization. He goes on to urge the Iraqi guerilla underground to continue fighting the Americans until they are victorious. DEBKAfile adds: This is the first time Hamas has voiced support for anti-American forces in Iraq, going further than even Yasser Arafat dared. Deif’s words are a pointer to the form of combat Hamas is preparing against Israel and the level of anti-American sentiment on the Palestinian street. It also warns Abu Mazen not to put his trust in Washington backing. In an assembly Saturday in Gaza’s Jebalya, Hamas leaders showed a hardening of their line against Israel and Abu Mazen. Local leader Fathi Hamad threatened the Palestinian Authority with a huge popular uprising if it failed to care for the people’s needs. He also demanded a share in government for the Hamas.


Scientists Press Pope to Clarify Position on Evolution (August 27, 2005) - A July 13 letter written by Krauss and two other scientists stressed their hope that the Roman Catholic Church would not “build a new divide, long ago eradicated, between the scientific method and religious belief” and asked the pope to clarify the church’s position on evolution. Co-signing the letter with Krauss, a best-selling popular science author who is Jewish, were two renowned Catholic biologists, Kenneth Miller of Brown University and Francisco Ayala of the University of California, Irvine. They are among a faction of scientists who feel that any redefinition of evolution along the lines of a recent article by an influential cardinal could have grave implications. Especially in America. Especially now. They say the United States has a special sensitivity to religion-vs.-science issues, as some citizens and groups have sought to open classrooms to additional models for how life came to be as it is. In 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed there was no opposition between evolution and Catholic doctrine. In 1996, Pope John Paul II endorsed Pius’ statement. The reason some scientists want Benedict, the current pope, to clarify the church’s position is that they sensed a shift July 7 when The New York Times published an opinion column by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna. In it, Schonborn wrote: “Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense -- an unguided, unplanned process ... is not.” more...